[Libreoffice] Presentation Wizard

Christoph Noack christoph at dogmatux.com
Tue Nov 2 16:29:50 PDT 2010

Hi Andrew,

thanks for your thoughts. And to "disclose" this right from the start -
I am not a hacker, so no help to expect here ;-)))

I'm answering here since - if there is some dev interest - there are
some more ideas on different lists that might be worth considering. Even
"Easy / Medium Hacks" that turn out to be very visible ...

Am Dienstag, den 02.11.2010, 17:04 +0000 schrieb Andrew:
> Hey Everyone,
> So recently I was looking (and trying to use!) the Presenation Wizard
> that comes up when a user clicks File>New>Presentation [...]
> The annoying thing is, is that the idea of a wizard (in my mind) is very
> good, however a poor implementation is what we currently have.

As far as I remember, the OOo UX team considered to replace it, since
many people don't use the wizard and there are already better
approaches. One of the root causes might be, that it really lacks good
content. But let's assume we'd have some ...

> One thing that I love about LibO is the start screen, I really like the
> look of it, it is easy to use and looks very modern, however I realised
> it is HEAVILY underused.

If we keep the usability, then we might use it for other purposes. :-)

Since your proposal nicely fits here, please let me refer to other
ideas. Okay?

When the original StartCenter was created, I started a wiki page to
explore more ideas / improvements. A similar approach to yours is the
"Templates Management". But other people added also other neat ideas...

During the OOo branding refresh (which would have been a great
opportunity to clean up some places), I started to refine the idea of
the StartCenter. Let's call it a (close-to)all-in-one solution ... with
some assumed constraints:

Moreover, people like Mirek brainstorming, too. On tdf-discuss, he
presented his ideas - see his blog posting:

Well, it seems that many people see quite some potential here :-)

> Therefore I decided to redesign the wizard, and integrate it into this
> start screen, you can see my results at:
> http://imagebin.ca/img/K-t66G.png

Cool, that makes it easy to grasp the initial idea! I'd like to omit
some of the detailed comments - just some random thoughts ...

> First of all I wanted to make sure that power-users (such as myself) who
> just want to start with a blank presentation are catered for. therefore
> you see in the first screen that a user simply has to click one button
> and they have a blank presentation.

Good, but it is already two clicks :-) There is still a "Next" (right
wording?). Having in mind that many people abort the wizard, we should
try to cut it down to one click.

The main problem currently is, that Impress behaves different to the
other modules. Any other module button directly creates an empty
document ... it is impossible to know that when looking at the current
StartCenter. See also:

> However for those who wish to use the wizard, here is where it starts to
> get good...
> First of all I made a distinction between presentation styles
> (currently backgrounds) and presentation purpose (currently templates).
> What I envisage is that a style, (could have any name really) is
> something which just controls how a presentation looks (colours, fonts,
> layout etc.) A presentation purpose should be around content, what is it
> for and therefore what pages should it include.

Okay, so it considers the current behavior - as far as I understand.

> I also redesigned options, such as what the presentation will be shown
> on, and changed the wording so it is easier to understand.

Well, that is an assumption, I assume ;-) If there are very good
reasons, the text style might be changed, but in general ...

People rely on consistent formulation of texts within the whole office
suite. Otherwise they have to "adapt" which causes additional effort -
even if the single dialog looks better. Consistency makes it also easier
for the translation teams ... find the right wording etc. Therefore the
documentation and UI representatives usually rely on the help of text
style guidelines (OOo).

> Terminology such as effect, speed, on mouse click, automatically after
> were copied over form the main application for consistency.

Transitions, slide navigation, ... is already very detailed. I guess
that those items are less important here (if we look at what the wizard
aims to achieve).

> ---
> Anyway I hope you can see my ideas and ideally, I envisage that each
> document type would have a similiar type of wizard for a consistent
> approach (word documents, spreadsheets etc.)

Well, I think another approach (aiming for a similar goal) might
consider some additional user needs. Why? The content people add is
highly individual, so it seems nearly impossible to come up with a
corresponding wizard concept that incorporates "everything" without
being computersome :-)

So I propose to go for something like:
      * Let the user chose a document from a set of high quality
        templates (we do not have at the moment)
      * Let the user insert / work with some "smart" artwork (think of
        tiny helpers for objects instead of documents)
      * Change the design via (pre-defined) styles for "everything"
      * Provide a backup solution for detailed tweaking

Although this is a bit different, there is enough potential left to
improve the StartCenter. What do you think? And most important, is
anybody of the developers interested in starting (with small steps) to
improve StartCenter & Co.?

> If we decide that this is what we want, then I can make a design spec
> for this mockup, so that someone could implement it.
> Any comments? :)

Any other comments? :-)


PS: Is there a reason for the list to be called "[Libreoffice]".
Shouldn't it be "[LibreOffice]" or even "[libreoffice]" (to match the
libo.org lists)? Where can I file an issue for that ;-)

More information about the LibreOffice mailing list